Things to do in
Chania

Get lost in this ancient city’s winding lanes and find a fusion of Venetian, Egyptian, and Ottoman influence.

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Our most recommended things to do in Chania

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 2 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 3 hours at the beach.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

2. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Trek along the longest gorge in Europe, located 4,000 feet above sea level, and take in the impressive views. Enjoy free time in the village of Agia Roumeli. Start your day with pickup in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river, and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

3. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Chania: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

4. From Chania: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pick-up point with the bus. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:20 AM set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks. You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat for food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

5. From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli.

Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

6. Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

Discover what lies below the surface of the water on an amazing 3-hour boat trip off the northwest coast of Crete. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Chania, and then journey by air-conditioned minivan to the resort town of Almyrida. Avail of the services of experienced instructors who will give you a short theory lesson on arrival. Then, sail to secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat and swim with your provided snorkeling equipment. Learn the names of all the fish with the help of a book as the crew takes photos and videos of your experience to send by email as a souvenir. Relax and enjoy the good company in the warm sun, and get fantastic views of the coastline.

Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide

7. Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide

The boat departs from the Old Venetian Harbor and heads out onto the Gulf of Chania. Pass by the island’s famous lighthouse, which was built by the Venetians in the 16th century and later modified by the Egyptians in 1839. The boat continues to sail west towards Lazaretta Island, a small island close to Chania which provides the best views of the sunset across the Kissamos Mountains. The island has a vast history that predates the Venetian occupation. Listen to your guide share lively commentary about the history of the island and its former inhabitants as you watch the sunset and the sky change color. Relax on deck as you marvel at the sunset against the Kissamos Mountains, then enjoy a traditional Greek raki. As the boat begins the return journey back to Chania, admire the harbor’s glistening lights reflecting against the water as evening turns to night.

From Crete: Elafonisi Day Tour with Pickup

8. From Crete: Elafonisi Day Tour with Pickup

Spend 4.5 hours enjoying Elafonisi Island. Don't forget your camera, as you'll definitely want to capture this island's pink sandy beaches and clear Aegean waves. The day starts with pickup from a meeting point near your resort. Travel 4 hours to Elafonisi, taking in views of canyons, valleys, and hidden villages on the way. Learn more about Crete and its history from the local guide. Take 20-minute stop to stretch your legs or grab a quick breakfast before arriving to the destination. Once on the island, guests are free to take a swim in the clear waters, soak up the sun on the sandy beach, or chill and grab a drink at the snack bar. At the end of the visit, meet at the bus for the return trip to Heraklion. The journey will take approximately 4 hours, depending on traffic and your drop-off location.

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

9. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

10. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 5,648 reviews

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa are one of the most beautiful places to see in Crete. Roughly 2 hrs in Gramvousa to hike up (optional) and swim in the beach. And almost 3hrs to explore the Balos Lagoon which is a large area to swim/explore. The lagoon has shallow waters and you can literally just lie down in the water and enjoy the scenery and the breeze. Tip: Bring water shoes, some areas can be rocky in both places.

We really enjoyed our SUP tour. The instructors we're really friendly and helpful, and the views of the coastline and mountains were spectacular! Our tour was initially cancelled for safety reasons due to high winds but was easily transferred to the following day.

Guides were great and clear communication A little late but I didn’t mind as we met at a coffee shop and I sat and drank my coffee

We had the best time and extremely value for money. Would definitely recommend. The island was even more beautiful in person!

Food options were great - a bit off the beaten path. Guide shared detailed history of the town and buildings.